OEM parts (original equipment manufactured parts) were designed and manufactured to exact specifications at the time the vehicle was originally produced. The vehicle manufacturer or other independent companies chosen by the vehicle manufacturer make OEM parts. OEM parts match the original parts on a vehicle when the vehicle came off the assembly line. The dealership’s service department for the vehicle uses OEM parts for repairs.
Aftermarket companies other than the vehicle manufacturer or the independent companies chosen by the vehicle manufacturer make aftermarket parts. The aftermarket companies buy the rights to make the aftermarket parts.
Aftermarket parts are designed to function the same as the original parts on a vehicle. In some cases, aftermarket parts may perform better than the original parts. Independent auto repair shops typically use aftermarket parts.
If your vehicle needs repairs as the result of an auto accident, the auto insurer covering the costs of the repairs will typically require the use of aftermarket parts to complete the repairs.
According to the Office of Legislative Research (“OLR”), 35 states have enacted statutes or regulations concerning the use of aftermarket parts in vehicle repairs. The Illinois statutes and regulations and the Indiana code found on the OLR website are listed as:
Illinois 215 Ill. Comp. Stats. 5/155.29
Identification of Parts. Any non-OEM aftermarket crash part supplied for use in the state must have affixed to or inscribed on it the manufacturer’s logo or name. Such information must be visible after installation whenever practicable.
Repair Estimate Disclosure. An insurer cannot specify the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle, and a repair facility or installer cannot use non-OEM aftermarket crash parts to repair a vehicle, unless the customer is advised of that fact in writing.
When an insurer intends that non-OEM aftermarket crash parts will be used in the repair of a motor vehicle, the insurer must provide the customer a written estimate that clearly identifies each non-OEM aftermarket crash part and a disclosure settlement incorporated into or attached to the estimate that reads as follows:
THIS ESTIMATE HAS BEEN PREPARED BASED ON THE USE OF CRASH PARTS SUPPLIED BY A SOURCE OTHER THAN THE MANUFACTURER OF YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE. WARRANTIES APPLICABLE TO THESE REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE PROVIDED BY THE MANUFACTURER OR DISTRIBUTOR OF THESE PARTS RATHER THAN THE MANUFACTURER OF YOUR VEHICLE.
Ill. Admin. Reg. tit. 50 § 919.80(d)(5)
Identification of Parts. All replacement crash parts subject to this section and manufactured after March 17, 1986, must carry sufficient permanent non-removable identification so as to identify its manufacturer. Such identification must be accessible to the extent possible after installation.
Like Kind and Quality. An insurer is prohibited from requiring the use of a replacement crash part in the repair of an automobile unless the replacement crash part is at least equal in like kind and quality to the original part in terms of fit, quality, and performance. Insurers specifying the use of replacement crash parts must consider the cost of any modifications which may become necessary when making the repair.
Indiana Ind. Code § 27-4-1.5-1 to 27-4-1.5-13
Consumer Choice Regarding Type of Parts. An insurer that is obligated to pay at least part of the cost of repairing the exterior of a motor vehicle under an insurance policy issued by the insurer may not direct a body shop to repair the motor vehicle until the insurer has presented the insured with a written notice that:
1. informs the insured that he or she has a right to approve the type of body parts to be used in the motor vehicle repair and
2. gives the insured an opportunity, in approving the type of body parts to be used in the repair of the motor vehicle, to select from among the following:
a. new body parts manufactured by or for the manufacturer of the motor vehicle,
b. new body parts that were not manufactured by or for the manufacturer of the motor vehicle, or
c. used body parts.
An insurer must give the insured an opportunity to indicate in writing the type of body part that the insured approves for use in the repair of the motor vehicle.
This section applies only in the five years after the model year of the motor vehicle.
Penalties. An insurer that does not give a consumer the required notice and opportunity to select the type of parts or that does not abide by a consumer’s choice commits an unfair claim settlement practice.
Chicago Car Accident Attorney Phil Berenz Is Here To Help
Most lawyers will not even bother to help you with car repairs in connection with a personal injury matter. To be clear, we do not generally handle car repair issues as a “stand alone” issue but we do in connection with a personal injury case.
When you choose Chicago Car Accident Attorney Philip J. Berenz to represent you in your auto accident injury case, we have the experience and knowledge to address your vehicle issues and fight the insurance companies if that is something you wish for us to handle.
Car rental while your car is being repaired is another whole matter along with potential “diminished value” and “total loss” issues.
We are happy to help. Contact us today at 312-888-6058.